As the Twins battle for the American League's second Wild Card spot, they will have to deal with a new-look James Shields on the mound for the White Sox in Tuesday's series opener at Target Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CT.
Shields has dropped down at times with his arm angle over the past few starts, trying to induce more ground balls. He has produced a 4.15 ERA over his last three trips to the mound, stricking out 20 while walking six and yielding three home runs.
"He's growing more and more confident with his new angle and arm slot," said White Sox manager Rick Renteria of the veteran hurler. "He's obviously seeing success. He's forcing a lot more ground balls, a lot less fly balls. He's able to go a little deeper into games, which helps in any place not having the 'pen stressed too often.
In 23 career starts against the Twins (14 quality), Shields has an 8-8 record with a 4.21 ERA. He has a 3.00 ERA over two starts against the Twins this season.
Minnesota ace Ervin Santana gets the call for the Twins. He finished with a no-decision in his last start against the White Sox on Aug. 23, allowing one earned run on three hits in seven innings.
Santana has an 11-8 career record against the White Sox. He is 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA over four starts against the South Siders this season.
Things to know about this game
• The White Sox picked up three victories in a five-game series against the Twins at Target Field this past week. Minnesota lost games started by Santana and Jose Berrios in the final two contests of the extended set.
• Avisail Garcia is hitting .456 (26-for-57) with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 15 games vs. the Twins this season.
• Eddie Rosario is hitting .336 with 13 home runs and 35 RBIs at Target Field this season.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.